How to Avoid Mold: One of the Challenges of Canadian Winters

Canadian winters are notorious for being long, cold, and damp. This combination of factors creates the perfect environment for mold (mould) to grow. In fact, the lowest temperature recorded in the country was -63 degrees celsius in Snag, Yukon, in 1947. It’s no wonder the place doesn’t exist anymore.

Mold can cause health hazards to your family and cost you expensive mould remediation services if you don’t have insurance. So, how can you avoid mold growth in your home during a Canadian winter?

What Is Mold?

Mold (mould) is a type of fungi that can grow indoors and outdoors and thrive in damp and warm environments. There are more than 100,000 different types of mold, and they can come in various colors, including black, green, white, brown, and yellow.

Mold releases spores into the air, causing allergic reactions in some people, such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Mold spores can trigger an attack in people with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

On the other hand, WHO (World Health Organization) reported in 2002 that exposure to mold in an indoor environment could lead to infection, allergy, mucus membrane and sensory irritation and toxicity alone, or both.

How Do You Know There’s Mold In Your Home?

Mold can be found in any room in your home but is most commonly found in the basement, laundry room, bathroom, and kitchen. They can also grow on appliances that produce heat and moisture, such as the furnace, water heater, and air conditioner.

If you can see mold growing on any of these surfaces, it’s a good indication that there’s too much moisture in your home. Also, you may notice a musty smell in your home if there’s mold present. Other signs include:

  • Water stains on walls or ceilings
  • Damaged drywall
  • Peeling paint
  • Visible mold growth

Unfortunately, mold can still be present even if you can’t see or smell it. The only sure way to know is to have a mold test done by a professional. If you suspect mold presence in your house, it is best to be safe and have the test done.

How Does Mold Grow In The Winter?

Mold requires three things to grow: oxygen, food, and water. There’s an increase in mold growth during the winter because homes are usually closed up tight to keep the heat in. This creates a perfect environment for mold because the warm air inside your home condenses on cold surfaces, such as windows and walls. The moisture from this condensation provides mold with the water it needs to grow.

There are times when you can’t see any water, but the air humidity is enough for mold to thrive. There are a few ways mold can enter your home:

  • Leaking pipes: Frozen pipes are one of the most common problems in Canadian homes during winter. When the water inside the pipes freezes, this can expand and puts pressure on the pipe walls, resulting in the pipes bursting and leaking water into your home.
  • Leaky roofs: If your roof isn’t properly insulated or ventilated, melting snow can seep through and lead to water damage to ceilings and walls.
  • High indoor humidity: Indoor humidity levels should be between 30-50%. It becomes a suitable environment for mold growth if higher than that.

Tips to Avoid Mold Growth During the Winter

  • Fix leaks in your roof, walls, or pipes as soon as possible.
  • Use a dehumidifier in damp rooms like the basement or laundry room.
  • Ensure your gutters are clean and draining properly.
  • Maintain good ventilation in your home by opening doors and windows when weather permits.
  • Regularly clean areas where mold is likely to grow, such as the bathroom, kitchen, and basement.
  • If you find minor mold in your home, scrub it with a solution of bleach and water (1 cup of bleach for every gallon of water). Afterward, make sure the area is well-ventilated until it’s completely dry. You may also need to throw away any porous materials that have been affected, such as carpets, drywall, or insulation.
  • Prevent condensation from forming on surfaces by maintaining a comfortable temperature inside your home to prevent condensation from forming on surfaces.

Keep in Mind

While you can take steps to prevent mold growth in your home, it’s important to remember that mold can still grow even if you do everything right. If you find mold in your home, it’s important to have it removed by professionals, such as PuroClean, as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your property and health.

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